India to seal border with Pakistan, BD soon: Rajnath

Delhi did not agree to change Miyar Dam design

New Delhi

India is pondering over sealing the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh soon, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday.
The Indian home minister was addressing the passing out parade of the Border Security Force in Madhya Pradesh.
He said India is planning to seal the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh as soon as possible. This could be India’s major step against terrorism and the problem of refugees. The minister added that the border with Pakistan would be sealed by 2018.
“The project will be periodically monitored by the Home Secretary at the Central level, the BSF from the security forces’ perspective and the Chief Secretaries at the state-level,” Singh said, adding that the government would apply technological solutions for sealing the border in difficult terrains.
Singh also spoke about the planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces which will be implemented soon. Couple of months ago, video of a soldier of the BSF had gone viral in which he complained of the treatment meted out to them by their high-ups.
“We are planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces. The forces are coming forward with such mechanism,” he said.
The decision has been taken in the wake of an increase in infiltration attempts, Singh said.
Lauding the BSF personnel, the home minister stated that the force has changed the rules of engagement at international borders which have made it a known Great move which should have been done long back.
He also visited the national training centre for dogs at the BSF Academy.
Meanwhile,India, sticking to the letter of the Indus Waters Treaty, has refuted the report that it had agreed with Pakistan to change design of Miyar Dam.
Ministry of External spokesperson Gopal Baglay told journalists, “There has been no change in the previous Indian position on any of the matters discussed at the Commission meeting.”
India defended its presence at the Lahore meeting of the Indus Commissioners last week, saying, “So long as we are a party to the treaty, it is our legal obligation to attend the treaty-mandated meetings which is held at least once every financial year.” The commission, he said is a bilateral body of engineers and technical experts, who had detailed technical discussions.
Pakistan has asked India to change the design of the Miyar dam, and Pakistan Minister for Water said India had agreed to do so. India refuted that report, denying any such changes.
Pakistan also said both countries would go to Washington for a meeting in April to chart “the way forward”, a meeting that would be mediated by the World Bank.—Agencies

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